Saturday, October 31, 2009

Welcome back, Kirogger

From Pawikirogi, a man who needs a new mental filter:
the above is a hirohito fairytale, but folks, what we have here is a korea basher. anytime you see korea described as ‘the korean peninsula’, you got yourself a korea basher because the implication is clear; korea did not exist. there was no such thing as korea. there was only the korean peninsula. for example, if someone were to write, ’sumo probably came from china via the korean peninsula.’ , you got yourself a sophisticated hater of korea. he thinks himself sly, but he hath no clothes in the sunlight of reality; his choice of words doth betray him.
Well, the "the Korean peninsula" hypothesis is an interesting one, but where does that leave me? I use that expression all the time, if for no other reason than to provide a little variation between Korea, the ROK, South Korea, the Koreas, the South, and south of the DMZ, among others.

This would be the second time this week (one directly and this one indirectly) that my "Korean apologist" credentials have been called into question. Hmm... I wonder if I'm some Manchurian Candidate-like plant, whose presence has been engineered by the shrine keepers at Yasukuni, whose task is to build up an army of followers and then suddenly start messing their heads with over-the-top pro-Japan/anti-Korean stuff. I hope I'm at least getting a pension.

Like so many other pronouncements about Korea (or Japan), this one falls apart in its sweepingness or absoluteness. "Anytime" you see that, Pawikirogi? While I think a case could be made that it should raise the concern level from yellow to orange, let's say, it's by no means something that could be applied to anybody in any case.

This, of course, is one of your problems overall, Pawikirogi (and like the arrogant sombitch that I am, I'm assuming that Pawikirogi reads what I write just by the sheer will generated by me writing about him). You make these sweeping (I really like that word) pronouncements about "the expat" (or kyopos or some other groups) and don't grant that there could be exceptions. Many, much, a lot of, or even often or sometimes would be great modifiers that would enhance the veracity (and acceptance) of your words.

You often do have something important to say (just like wjk did), but you don't know how to say it.


  1. I don't know what Pawikirogi was referring to when he posted that (and I know I may be off the point of your blog), but just from reading his quote, I can see what he means. I have read several books written by Japanese historians/archaeologists/anthropologists, and they DO often say "Korean peninsula", "peninsula", or "the continent". Sometimes, you wonder: "Why don't they just come out and say it's from KOREA, dammit?!". I think there has been a tendency to stay away from admitting it's from Korea and it's more acceptable if they say it's from China. Anyways, I know you weren't necessarily talking about this point, but I just wanted to mention it as I was thinking the same thing the other day when reading something.

  2. I think there is some merit to the idea that someone who habitually says things like that instead of "Korea" or some such, may be subtly denigrating 우리나라.

    But I take issue with the sweepingness and absoluteness of the comment he made, that "anytime you see" that phrase used, it's a Korea basher.

    That kind of sweeping generalization, especially when used to pigeonhole or disparage, is wrongheaded and terribly unhelpful.


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